Author Archives: Sabrina

Testing a Theory

Written by Sabrina

I look for new ideas for my kids’ education since I home school. I want to cover the material as required but in an interesting way. I want to make things more interesting to keep their attention and thus I had a few twists. I look for ideas here and there and sometimes I hear about them from other mothers. When a new lesson strikes a particular chord, I pursue that direction. It can be challenging in some subjects, but there is always a way to make art, music, language studies, history, and science more appealing. I often ask the kids to come up with their own ideas and am often surprised by their appropriateness and relevance. This is the rewarding part of home schooling. You watch and witness little minds grow and it can be in ways that astound you. There was the time one of the kids asked for an art project that they could make themselves. They had made many maps of the country and the world out of papier mache or clay, but always in two dimensions. Now they wanted to see things in three D. They wanted to have to wear those special weird blue and red glasses, like the ones you put on to watch a movie. I figured out a way to use special printed paper that could be mounted in the round.

Now it was my turn to get creative. I decided to do a flashlight comparison study for the next science project. I intended to check the brightness and batter usage of a regular flashlight and an LED to see which came out better. I didn’t know if the kids cared about the results, but they professed interest. I asked them the hypothesis, the root of scientific inquiry and they got it right away. The standard flashlight would not come out the winner. Give the kudos to the LED. To be fair, I have to mention that it was the brightest LED flashlight I’d ever seen, and it was definitely a quality tool. If this is the feature you want, by all means by one. They are all affordable these days and readily available on the market.

After years of home schooling, I have resorted to having contests with the kids to see who comes up with the most winning lesson plans. The winners can pass on some type of homework for their efforts. I try to keep homework down to a minimum as I believe that kids should have social and recreation time every day. But we do have a bit now and then such as studying for tests and writing essays. I want their education time to be as much like public school as possible. I do require minimal time on cell phones and tablets unless they are researching a report. Then I have close supervision going on for the duration. I do feel that I provide quality education.

At that Age

Written by Sabrina

You can’t believe it when you kid hits dating age and has eyes only for girls—some you are leery of, some you respect. All of a sudden he becomes a flirting machine and a work-out fanatic. Mind you, his physique is just fine, but not to him. He feels he can’t compete with all the jocks out there who are building muscle as I write. He has made it his life’s ambition to keep up.

I like that he is concerned with calorie counting (a bit feminine however) and consuming health drinks like kale blends with carrot boosters. His favorite shopping venue is Whole Foods. I have also witnessed some vitamins on the bathroom shelf. Taking good care of himself is very adult-like and a welcome sight.

This kid can be compulsive so I bought him a state-of-the-art combination bathroom scale for basic weighing purposes and also contains a body fat analyzer function too. It’s a digital wizard. After he hits the gym, he comes home and jumps on. It speaks to him verbally and visually. I tell him he has to wait a day to see the effects, but this goes right over his precious head. He keeps a record by a wireless Wi-Fi connection to his tablet and has instigated alarms and alerts when his weight reaches the zone of no return.

I love watching my kids grow up and it can become amusing to watch at times. Health, manifested in heavy gym attendance, is important and a great goal at any age. For it to appear during the socializing years is not surprising. It is something they can do together and a venue for meeting new friends. It gets them away from the TV, computer, social media, and the cell phone. Thank God they don’t allow them on the workout floor. It is the only time they are on hold and out of sight.

I think I see a six-pack brewing—little by little. My boy is growing up. He is lithe to begin with so any exercise starts to shows right away to his great joy. It’s hard to see your son as a sex object, if that is what, in effect, he is aiming for. The scale keeps him informed and is a silent motivator lurking in the corner of the bathroom. It is his fitness counselor in disguise. I think, however, that it has replaced mom to an extent I would rather ignore.

Acquiring some new brain power would be a better use of his time these days. His focus is a bit one-sided. I hope to see a flip flop soon. The intensity of his physical concern is not to my absolute liking. Perhaps kids this age are like yoyos swinging back and forth like a pendulum. Let’s hope it swings to schoolwork and reading in the near future. Meanwhile I renewed his gym membership and have loaned him the car to follow his pursuits. Newfound freedom has been a major boost to his confidence and self-esteem.

Turning my Eldest Son’s Room into a Sewing Space

Written by Sabrina

When you have a family, even of average size, you don’t have much leftover space. You don’t have any space at all. The thought of a hobby or sewing room is out of the question for the majority of us. When the older kids leave home, suddenly you have some new options. Unless two children are sharing a room and long for their own, grab this chance for some private space before it gets pre-empted.

I did just that. The Singer sewing machine had been in the closet for years, and it was darn hard to keep pulling it out and setting it up every time I needed it. It was pretty new and state-of-the-art, and I was dying to try out more of its special features. I was therefore pretty excited about converting a newly available room for my own use. I’d been reading a few sewing blogs, like this one, and was keen to get to work. I could leave some of the furniture there—just add a work unit and a comfortable chair. I needed a storage cabinet for patterns and notions as well and decided to use a nice wood filing cabinet from the garage. After a little staining, it was perfect. The closet did just fine for fabric storage and items in a state of needed repair.

I moved the single bed against the wall so I could use the floor for pinning patterns and cutting. Since it was wood, it was a perfect flat surface. I am used to doing it this way in the absence of a big empty table. (The dining room is always occupied by assorted laptops and school notebooks—and you never know whether you’ll end up with some food that had been left behind staining the fabric.) I also installed a full-length mirror for fittings. It was looking very professional so I painted the room and removed the rather unsightly rock posters. I finally got a space for me, just me. No sharing or caring about others, just for once.

This room would turn out to be the source of hours of personal pleasure. I got into quilts and little colorful patterned squares were strewn inelegantly about the entire space. I could just shut the door. As they were added together one by one, a miraculous transformation occurred. Bits and pieces became an amazing work of art. It was lovely and I decided to cover the bed as a reminder of the power of handiwork on the psyche. It always fills me with pride whenever I see it.

Soon I was getting requests! It was very flattering. Obviously someone was paying attention when they were able to tear themselves away from the mobile phone and tablet of choice for the day. Cargo pants, cotton tops, stretch jeans, skirts, tote bags, and more appeared one after the other in rapid succession. I was spending more and more time with the beloved Singer sewing machine. A hobby was becoming a full-time job! When it comes to family, however, I will do anything. There is a lot of gratification in do-it-yourself projects that others appreciate. Some women paint, some crochet, and some garden. My forte was in one little enviable room.

Meat Grinder Monster

Written by Sabrina

I was lying on the couch after a hard morning and started to drift off. Glorious sleep was coming upon me, and soon some rather strange dreams. I was in the kitchen cooking as usual surrounded by a myriad of appliances. But there were some new ones: a meat grinder, some odd slicers, a food dehydrator, and more. But the meat grinder alone was growing larger and larger.

It was bright and shiny – like brand new. I was probably dreaming about it because I’d been reading some reviews on this web site that morning. It called to me silently in all its practical splendor. It was like a living creature of metal and plastic. The other gadgets lay about idly. It was so real, but I was not frightened. I didn’t think it was a dream, but I somehow knew it was not normal.

There was a body to the thing and a contraption on top. It was a combination of a kind of tray or receptacle, no doubt for meat, empty and begging to be fed. Below at the side was a spout of sorts like a gaping mouth ready to spew its prey. A chrome crank was on the other side (I know, they don’t use these much anymore!), looming large and ready for use.

I lay there dumbstruck contemplating this monster. Who or what was it? Why was it there? How would I conquer its power?

I rose from my slumber and approached the menace. Slowly, one step at a time, cautiously and warily. Closer and closer and closer. The spout grew teeth: enamel fangs that hung like icicles. The cord was curled and the socket moved with a snap into the nearest outlet.

The motor went on. I ran to the OFF button, but to no avail. The machine was purring and thrust into high gear. Suddenly I saw its eyes – big, silver and red orbs that glowered at me with a threatening stare. The body of the unit started to twist and turn, back and forth, to and fro, and stopped when it faced the refrigerator. Did it want something to eat? I opened the door of my big Subzero and groped inside. There it was! A package of red meat in a paper wrapper, never been opened (or even seen) before.

I removed the parcel from the shelf and it, too, seemed alive and breathing. With a gentle hand, I opened it to find what I expected: a five pound wad of animal flesh in all its bloody glory. Grabbing it by the edge, I flipped it into the grinder’s maw; and as it was already on, it immediately began its churning work. The meat came out of the spout (or should I say snout) in thin, perfectly-formed wormlike strings.

I gathered the wiggling strands and placed them on a plate. When they stopped moving, I shaped pieces of them into patties, adding a dash of salt and pepper by rote. After only seconds, I woke with a start from my afternoon nap to find my kids with a few friends standing before me. “Are the burgers ready yet,” they asked.

Potty Training Mishaps

Written by Sabrina

If you don’t take joy in the process and accept the small rewards, you will loathe the experience of potty training your kids. They often experience toilet trauma as they learn the ins and outs of hygiene and incur your wrath when they miss. Try to stay calm, cool, and collected. My children are well beyond this difficult phase, but a friend going through it reminded me of my former potty mentoring days.

You are a teacher and an instructor on the uses of the john at home and elsewhere. You are a monitor of bathroom behavior, and as such you have a big role in a child’s life. They love learning new things but for some, this is a tough skill to acquire. A lot of whining and crying accompanies your request for immediate results while they’re sitting on top of your nice Kohler toilet. (They are sitting there dutifully but producing no product.) Sometimes they just like to be ornery; other times they just forget. Get ready for surprises.

Toilette etiquette may be beyond the little tots, but it is imperative. It sounds sophisticated, but is not. At home, you have the time to be patient and also clean up any stray messes. In other people’s homes, you die when anything out of the ordinary occurs. You must go with the young ones, of course, and supervise or you both will not be invited back. In restaurants, hotels, malls, and other public places, strict observance of good behavior is mandatory. Often other mothers are watching – and judging. God forbid their own precious offspring do something wrong!

You have to make potty training a fun novelty game until it becomes automatic and ingrained. Don’t expect the kids to know how to operate a toilet, remember paper, or how to flush. Each and every step has its place. How you make it stick in their growing sponge-like minds is a reflection of your creativity. Bribery can get you everywhere – candy, new toys, a soda, etc. You can use gold stars, stickers, or an accomplishment chart. The best approach is to be honest and describe why it is so important and the mark of a “good” boy or girl. It is something to reward at first, even just with accolades and plenty of smiles. Tell siblings this is not something for Facebook or Instagram. It is okay to recount to grandma or Aunt Sue.

Older brothers and sisters, not to mention dads, can be called upon for ideas. But you are the one to witness the multiple daily routine events. The cute TV ad showing the mom with a huge jug of bleach is not an exaggeration. Talk to your kids about cleanliness, responsibility, growing up, and courtesy. Throw paper in the toilet, not on the floor, put the lid down for others, and by all means wash those hands. Never, ever, throw stuff in the bowl and then reach in to grab them.

When all is said and done, you will proud of your progeny and ready to move on to the next training task.

5 Reasons Why I Love Our Fireplace

Written by Sabrina

As the weather turns colder, I can’t help but become just a little excited. I love our fireplace because it brings my family a number of wonderful benefits that extend beyond the cold. I thought I’d share with you the reasons why I love my fireplace so that maybe it could help your family too!

  1. There’s an increased focus on the work at hand.

Jeremy and Grace love working by the fireplace in the morning when it is time to do schoolwork because it is an informal type of atmosphere. They feel comfortable and relaxed as we go through our lessons for the day and this helps them remember the information from each class in a more complete way. Even Michael says he tries to seek out a fireplace at school when he’s got to study!

  1. It saves us a lot of money on the bills.

I try to bring in some extra money when I can with my music and art lessons, but there are some months when everything gets very, very tough. That’s especially true in the colder months when the heating bills can easily triple when we’re using the furnace that’s in our home! By using our pellet stove as our main source of heat combined with a wood stove fan on top that doesn’t use any electricity, there are some months where we can easily save upwards of $300 and when you’ve basically got one full-time income, that’s grocery money.

  1. It’s beautiful to watch.

There’s just something about watching a fireplace in operation that makes me feel at peace with myself. Even when the kids are arguing with each other about who needs to do what chore, the fireplace helps me to be able to decompress and handle the drama.

  1. It’s very inspirational.

When I have a need to be creative, the fireplace delivers for me every time. Whether I’m working on a new composition or just have a desire to create, the flickering and popping of the fireplace seems to help my work be better than it is without. This process also helps to center me so that I’m making sure I’m pushing my kids toward what they want to be, not what I want or expect them to become. Jeremy loves writing lyrics in front of the fire, while Grace enjoys time painting there when we can get the easel set up for her.

  1. It brings the family together.

Even though Michael is away at school most of the year, the fireplace is still that one place that our family can be able to come together consistently. We can talk about our day, discuss plans for the future, or my husband and I can just talk about the bills in a non-threatening environment where we can all plan together. We play games in front of the fireplace in the colder months and these are memories that can’t be replicated by anything else!

Do you have a fireplace? What do you or your family love about your time in front of the fireplace on a cold winter’s day?

Shower Memories

Written by Sabrina

I don’t care how many stories of woe I’ve heard about the empty nest and how you can get through it by taking up new hobbies or joining a gym. It just plain hurts when your offspring departs; and when it’s off to college, it is all the more shocking because you have to admit how grown up your child actually is. Michael is my case in point. My first born has a special place in my heart, as do all my kids, but he is the first to put my emotions to the test about easing up on motherhood and letting go. I dare not think about the next one to fly out of the coop.

Vigilant mother that I am, I had to check out the dorm and buy a new bedspread and towels. There was no private bath, of course, but fluffy softness around Michael’s young frame would help ease the transition from the pleasures of home. The showers were communal, of course, and not exactly state-of-the art especially compared to the amazing shower panel that my husband installed in our family bathroom. The showerheads were clogged and encased in a patina of use. Stop it, I thought. Just give him the towels and go. Michael, for his part, could care less.

Once home, it wasn’t hard to worry. How could he keep clean in that dungeon of a shower room? Would enough water come out of those antiquated heads? Would the water be too hard? I suddenly called to mind in a moment of emotional reminiscence how the kids used to love taking showers. Grace was the most avid but the others loved to indulge. Not Michael, however, At first he was terrified of the high falling water and insisted on bathing in a tub until he was eight. He wouldn’t even watch. We read a number of shower head reviews to find one that was the most gentle on sensitive skin, we tried special foaming soap on a rope, letting him go first in the morning, and waterproof colorful plastic earphones. He wasn’t taking the bait.

Michael eventually came around but never spend long hours liked Grace surrounded in heavy mist. Maybe that’s why the dorm shower was of no interest to him one way or the other. I foolishly even offered to donate a few inexpensive shower heads to the school and only got a low guffaw out of him. (He’s not much of a swimmer either, but I don’t want to even whisper the words “water phobia.” He wants to go river rafting during spring break so if he did suffer from a shaming condition, it is gone now.)

I love those nostalgic moments when I am at home alone when dinner is on the stove and the house is ready for the evening onslaught. Why were showers so important? Did the showerhead look like a gremlin or an alien being? You never think at the time to get into your kids’ heads to solve their problems. You are first and foremost an adult—the practical, fearless keeper of sanity and purveyor of reality. You banish illusions and the fears that underlie them. You don’t really confront them lest you find something else.

Michael’s First Semester at College

Written by Sabrina

There have been some big changes in our family over the past few months. One of the biggest events is that my oldest son, Michael, 19, got a full scholarship to college and moved out of our home. Of course, he will come home during vacation time. However, this is a big step for all of us.

He has just completed his first semester and I have had mixed feelings during this time. When we were preparing for him to move out I was nervous about how he would cope with living a whole new life, especially coming from a home school environment. I also felt sad that I would not see my son on a regular basis, even though I knew we would talk regularly on the telephone. I am used to having all three of my children with me for most of the day. However, my predominant emotion is pride. Not only am I proud of his academic success and getting a scholarship, I am also proud that he has become a rounded young man with the skills needed to live an independent life. I feel proud of myself too for the role I have played in making him the young man he is today.

During his first semester, Michael and I have talked regularly. I tell him everything that is going on at home and he tells me about both his academic progress and his experiences of college. So far, most of the things he has told me are all signs that he is having a great time at college, is doing well and is making the most of various extra-curricular activities and social opportunities. Michael has achieved good grades on the assignments he has submitted so far and says he is enjoying his courses. The thing I am am most pleased about is that he has made some friends there already and seems to be having a great time with them.

Of course, there have been some negatives too. During the first few weeks he had some issues with finding his way around campus and getting to know the local area. There were a few incidents as he adapted to the practicalities of living independently as well. The biggest issue he has had so far though was catching a case of athlete’s foot that developed into toenail fungus in the communal showers. At first he wasn’t sure what it was (his first call was asking for help because his toenails looked yellow) or how to get healthy nails and treat his toenail fungus, so of course I got a number of telephone calls from him to ask my advice.

Overall, I would say that if the biggest issue he has faced so far is a bad case of athlete’s foot, and then his first semester at college could generally be considered a success. I can only hope that his experiences of college continue to be as positive as they have so far. Now that he has successfully completed his first semester, I feel confident that he has the skills and abilities to achieve great things and to also have a fantastic time with many great experiences.

Why You Shouldn’t Home School

Written by Sabrina

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Although homeschooling is a great option for some families, and it has certainly been the best choice for us, for other families it would be the wrong decision. It is important to make the right choice by researching homeschooling thoroughly, weighing up the pros and cons and speaking to other families who have experience of homeschooling. By doing this you can make an informed decision based on your family’s circumstances and needs.

Not every child will benefit from homeschooling. The ones who do are generally gifted children who excel in a number of subjects. If this is not the case with your child, then perhaps mainstream is a better option for you. It is important to be realistic about your child’s abilities and take into consideration their personality traits too.

Time is another big consideration when deciding whether homeschooling is for you. It needs at least one parent to devote all their time to their children’s education. It is not just about being there while the children are studying, it is also about spending time planning lessons, gathering resources and researching topics. You are with your children 24 hours a day and while most of the time this is great, there are times when you may feel that you need your own space occasionally. If you are unwilling or unable to give all of your time, then homeschooling is not an option.

Similarly, homeschooling is a lot of hard work. A homeschooling parent has to put effort into teaching their children and all of the other activities that are associated with this. You can’t just take a day off when you feel like it, you have to completely devote yourself to giving your child the best education possible. Parents who do not want to work hard should not even consider homeschooling as an option.

Money is another concern that affects whether a family can home school their children or not. Homeschooling is likely to mean that one parent will not work outside the home or will only work part-time hours around schooling their children. This can have financial implications. If you cannot afford to live on one salary then homeschooling might not be the best choice for your family.

There are downsides to homeschooling that you should also think about when making the decision. It can be very stressful, time-consuming and hard work. Practical lessons are tricky as most houses are not as equipped at school. Your children will miss out on the social aspects of school so they will need to do other activities outside of school time to mix with other children. If you do not think you can overcome the negative aspects of homeschooling, then it is better to look at alternatives.

Be honest with yourself about whether any of these points is going to be an issue for you. Speaking from experience, I know that homeschooling is not a decision to be taken lightly and needs full commitment. Many of the downsides can be overcome, but some just have to be faced head on. If you cannot face the challenges or overcome the difficulties, then it is perhaps better to consider alternative options.

How To Help Your Children Reach Their Full Potential

Written by Sabrina

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One of the most important aspects of successful homeschooling, in my opinion, is supporting your child reach their full potential. This may mean complete academic achievement or supporting them in the areas they are especially able and talented.

Understanding the level that your children are at is important in achieving this. It gives you are starting point to work from. It will help you to identify each of their strengths and weaknesses and help you to create a plan to move forward.

Setting targets to work towards is a great way to help your children. It motivates them and gives them an aim. The targets should be achievable, or else they will become demotivated and feel a sense of failure. However, gifted children need to be challenged and the targets and work should be set bearing this in mind. One of the problems for gifted children in mainstream school is that they are not challenged enough in their work as they are working at the pace of others. Teachers find it hard to accommodate the differing needs of children with a wide range of abilities. In my experience, and that of other mothers who home school that I know, unchallenged gifted children can act out.

Another tip for helping your children to do the best that they can is to monitor their progress carefully. If you notice that they are not progressing as you would like or expect in some subjects then look at the reasons why. Think about the activities and methods you have used. Do these work? Is your child finding learning fun? If not, then it is possible that you need to think of some more creative ways for your child to learn.

Learning from the experiences of others can also help. Spend some time looking for different ideas and viewpoints about homeschooling on the Internet. Research different ways of doing things. If you know other parents who home school, having some informal chats with them is a great way to exchange ideas and experiences. Of course, what works for one family does not always work for another. I like Homeschool.com’s resources and community – its a great place for moms to meet, talk and share resources.

Finally, potential is about so much more than academic success and focusing on specific talents. Socializing is also an important part of a child’s development. One of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that you children do not mix with other children to the same extent as children in mainstream schools do. Therefore, it is important that you ensure your children have the opportunity to mix with other children, find hobbies they enjoy and get new experiences.

How To Not Burn Your Children Out

Written by Sabrina

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One of the potential parenting mistakes that any parent, not just those who home school can make, is to push children too hard. There is definitely a fine line between encouraging their talents and becoming a pushy mom, pushing them down one route because it is what you, not they, want.

All three of my children are gifted and each has different areas of talents. I try to make sure that I encourage them so that they can achieve their full potential but also that they are still having fun pursuing these talents. Similarly, there are areas I am talented in, particularly math, music and art. As a parent it can be tempting to encourage your children towards the subjects you enjoy and are talented in and enjoy. In some respects you could say that this is living your dreams through your children. I think this is a mistake.

I believe that one of the best ways of making sure that you are not pushing your children too hard is to keep open the lines of communication. Talk to your children about the things they enjoy and are passionate about, things they don’t enjoy and what their hopes, dreams and ambitions are for the future. If they have stopped enjoying something they are talented at it is important you know about it. This does not necessarily mean that they have to give up on these subjects; rather that you can look at different ways of them learning or taking a break from the current schedule with that particular topic.

Breaks and free time are important too. In a mainstream school, a child has breaks throughout the day. I think that as a homeschooling mother I also allow my children to have breaks in the learning day. Free time in the evenings and weekends are important too. A talented home-schooled child often has a tough schedule. Not only do they have their regular daytime lessons that are full of challenging activities to help them achieve their full potential, it is often the case that they have many extracurricular activities too, such as swimming clubs and music lessons. A few nights off planned activities can help them to relax and feel less pressured. This in turn will benefit their education and keep them motivated.

There are some signs that you should look out for that gives you a warning that your children are being pushed to hard. If they are fatigued, restless, unfocused, irritable or lacking in motivation, then it is possible that your child is showing signs of being pushed too hard.

A child who is pushed too hard may reach mental and physical burn out. Not only will this affect their learning, it can also potentially have detrimental effects on their health. From experience I know how hard it is to balance supporting your child to achieve their full potential and not pushing them too hard. However, I do think that if you follow the tips I have suggested that this balance is achievable.

Why Home School Your Children?

Written by Sabrina

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I have always recognized that my children are talented. I know that all moms think that, but I knew this to be the case. Each of my three children had areas that they excelled in. It was this that made me consider homeschooling them. Deciding to teach your children at home is a big decision and there are a lot of things to consider. It certainly isn’t the best option for everybody. A child’s education is the foundation for their future and my decision would seriously impact on this. It would also impact on our daily lives and my career if I opted to teach my children. After a lot of thought, we decided that homeschooling was the better option for our family. However, as with most things in life, there are both pros and cons to my decision.

One of the major benefits of homeschooling my children is that I can focus on each of their strengths and weaknesses. Michael, 19, is at college now. However I truly believe that I have given him the foundations for success in the future as he got through with a scholarship. Jeremy, 16, and Grace, 11, are equally talented and I can nurture these talents in their lessons.

If they attended a mainstream school, then they would be on a set timetable, regardless of their learning needs. Also, they would be working at a pace and level for the average in their class. Homeschooling has allowed me to personalize their learning experience. I spend less time on the topics that they quickly grasp and more on any areas they find more difficult. My children have different learning styles and I adapt teaching methods and resources to suit the ways they learn best.

Of course, there are down sides to homeschooling. One of the major disadvantages is that I worry they are missing out on the social aspect of school. However, they do mix with other young people who live locally and all do extra-curricular activities.

I am talented in math, art and music so I feel confident in teaching my children these subjects, but other topics I have to research first to make sure I am passing on the right information to the children. Sometimes we research topics together as part of lessons and this is fun. Practical lessons are sometimes more tricky than they would be in a classroom, we don’t have a fully equipped science lab for a start. This means I have to be creative in my teaching methods.

The other disadvantage is that I am solely responsible for my children’s education and this is sometimes stressful. If they were to fail, then it is all down to me. I meet with other homeschooling moms and they all feel the pressure of this too. I am also a member of some online forums like home-school.com where I can chat with other homeschool moms from around the world. We offer each other support and encouragement and well know that we have made the right decision for our families.

Overall, I felt that the advantages of homeschooling outweighed the disadvantages for your family and this was the best decision for us.

What is Home Schooling?

Written by Sabrina

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Homeschooling is when parents decide that they will teach their children at home rather than in a traditional classroom environment. Families all have different reasons for making this decision, but generally it is because parents feel their child’s education will benefit from homeschooling. Not everybody agrees with homeschooling, but this is often down to a lack of understanding and knowledge. In fact, homeschooling is often perceived to be very different to what it actually is and there have been many occasions when I have felt the need to justify my decision to home school to my friends and family.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that parents who choose homeschooling are controlling and want to live their lives through their children. Although all parents are different, this is generally not the case. Most parents make the decision based solely on the educational needs of their children and are not trying to prevent freedom and independence.

Another misconception is that parents choose homeschooling as an easy option. People think that homeschooling families don’t want to do the school runs and the homework. Instead, they keep their children at home, let them run wild and teach them as and when they feel like it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Homeschooling is hard work and requires complete dedication from parents. Preparing resources and lessons is very time consuming. Most families who have opted for homeschooling have a schedule in the same way that mainstream schools have a timetable. Obviously there is more flexibility in a home environment but you still need to put the hours in each day.

Homeschooling is not the best option for every family and some children will not thrive or benefit from learning from home. Gifted and talented children are the group that is most likely to benefit from homeschooling. This is because parents can tailor lessons to their child’s learning style and individual needs. Children can work at their own pace, rather than at the pace of others in their lesson, and tasks can be set to challenge them. If a child is advanced in specific areas, like my children, then you can spend more time and effort focusing on these subjects and less on those that are either not compulsory in the curriculum or one of your children’s talented areas. In a mainstream classroom environment children who excel in some subjects are overlooked and not pushed enough to achieve at a higher level. They are held back by working at the pace and level of the other children.

Some children with learning difficulties also benefit from homeschooling in the same way that gifted children do. Parents can set work that is based on the strengths and weaknesses of their child. The child doesn’t have to face the pressure of struggling to keep up with the pace of the other children in the class. Instead, parents can work towards finding different ways for their children to learn and set achievable targets for their child to aim for.